The ACT Government has launched a trial $500,000 discount voucher scheme to boost consumer spending to help Canberra businesses in the lead-up to Christmas.
The scheme, part of the COVID-19 economic jobs and economic recovery plan, will encourage Canberrans to choose locally when buying goods and services.
From today, consumers can access the digital vouchers worth $2.50, $5, $10 and $20 from the ChooseCBR website and use them at participating businesses from 9 December until 21 December.
Eligible local businesses across Canberra can register to participate in ChooseCBR, but they must have a physical shopfront in the ACT; have received JobKeeper payments during 2020; be in the retail, tourism and accommodation, arts and recreation, personal services and hospitality sectors (as per ANZSIC codes); and have less than $10 million in turnover per annum.
The government says that the Canberra community has responded well to the pandemic so far, allowing many businesses to reopen over the past few months.
But it says the pandemic is not over and it will continue to support local businesses to keep the economy moving and keep people in jobs as part of the plan to create and protect over 250,000 local jobs by 2025.
The ACT Labor election commitment is designed to support local businesses across a range of industries, including retail, tourism, accommodation, arts and recreation, personal services and hospitality sectors, all of which have been significantly affected by COVID-19.
Minister for Business and Better Regulation Tara Cheyne said the trial program would be evaluated with a view to rolling out a full program in 2021.
“The program will offer anyone over 18 up to $40 worth of discounts each day if they spend over a certain amount of money at participating businesses. The program will be open until 21 December or until the $500,000 allocation is exhausted,” Ms Cheyne said.
The program is modelled on the successful City of Darwin program ‘myDarwin’ which found that for every $1 of government spending, businesses benefited by between $4 and $6 of revenue.
The government says this means the ChooseCBR trial could provide up to around $3 million worth of stimulus to the ACT economy.
“Businesses and community members can both register for the program from today by going to ChooseCBR. Businesses fill in a simple application, which will then be assessed. Eligible businesses will go into the ChooseCBR business directory,” Ms Cheyne said.
“The community can sign up from today, with the program open to anyone over the age of 18, including both locals and visitors.”
She said there would be a minimum spend to use the vouchers but they can’t be redeemed for alcohol, tobacco, or gaming products.
“The program is designed to help local businesses to get more customers in the door and start the road to recovery. We’re encouraging Canberrans to get involved, particularly as we get close to the holiday season,” Ms Cheyne said.